- CES 2019, the biggest tech show of the year, was light on funky, futuristic laptops that will likely never come to market.
- What it did have were some great-looking laptops that are either already available for sale or will come out later this year.
- Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Huawei all had strong outings this year, with new models that look great and offer great specs – and that are often cheaper than a comparable Mac from Apple.
CES 2019, the largest tech convention of the year, got me excited about laptops in 2019.
I didn’t see any crazy concept laptops, with weird designs and funky features that are unlikely to make it to store shelves – unusual, because those are usually out in full force at CES.
What I did see was a good range of perfectly reasonable and practical models that we’re definitely going to see come to market in 2019. In a way, these “reasonable” new laptops are actually more exciting than the far-out concepts, mostly because they will actually be available to buy at some point this year.
This year, there was a great showing by Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Huawei.
Check out our favourite laptops of CES 2019 that we can’t wait to try:
Huawei MateBook 13
The latest MateBook 13 from Huawei sports a beautifully minimal design, great specs, and a price tag that will make anyone question Apple’s $US1,200 asking price for the new MacBook Air.
The $US1,000 base model of the MateBook 13 comes with an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a fingerprint scanner, and a sharp 13-inch 1440p display. Overall, those are very similar to – if not better than – the specs in the 2018 MacBook Air, but for $US200 less.
The $US1,200 MateBook 13 model comes with a powerful 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, a fingerprint scanner, and a sharp 13-inch 1440p display. Essentially, for the same price as the MacBook Air, you’re getting a significantly more powerful processor and more storage.
The MateBook 13 series comes with only USB-C ports, which isn’t ideal. However, Huawei is including a USB-C adaptor for more traditional USB ports, which is something that Apple expects you to buy separately.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th generation
In several respects, Lenovo’s 7th generation of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop is just another great Lenovo laptop with that beautifully classic, IBM-inspired design and a fantastic keyboard. What makes this specific laptop special is just how lightweight it is. The new 7th-generation X1 Carbon weighs in at 2.4 pounds, which is 0.35 pounds lighter than the 2018 MacBook Air’s 2.75 pounds.
Once available in June 2019, the 7th-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon can be had with an 8th-generation Intel Core processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2 terabytes of SSD storage, a 15-hour battery life (or so Lenovo says), a fingerprint sensor, and all the ports that the MacBook Air should, but doesn’t, have. That includes two regular USB 3.1 ports, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an HDMI port.
Lenovo estimates a starting price of $US1,710, which seems on the high side, but we’ll have to wait to see what specs come with the asking price when it’s fully released in June this year.
Frost White Dell XPS 13 9380
The new Dell XPS 13 comes in a new colour scheme – white on the inside with a rose-gold exterior. In this photo, it all looks pretty pink, but that’s because of the lighting … trust me, it’s white.
It looks absolutely stunning, and it makes a strong case for other laptop models to offer their wares in white, too. Dell also moved the camera from the bottom of the screen to the top, which fixes the XPS series’ webcam viewing angle that used to look up a user’s nostrils.
As with other top laptops, the Dell XPS 13 is moving up to an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to a 4K display, and is available in various storage options when it’s available in February 2019. Its starting price is $US900.
HP Elitebook X360 830 G5
HP’s latest laptop at CES 2019 doesn’t necessarily wow in the design department, but it does have a couple neat tricks up its sleeve. For one thing, the display can reach an incredibly bright 1,000 nits, whereas most laptops reach about 500 nits.
Secondly, the HP comes with a button that enables a screen privacy feature and makes it more difficult for someone sitting next to you to see what you’re working on. It’s a nifty feature that usually requires you to place a special screen film on top of the laptop’s display and is purchased separately.
The Elitebook G5 is expected to be released in March this year.
Any and all laptops that come with OLED displays.
OLED displays – with their rich colours and stunning contrast – have already made their way into TVs and smartphones, but they haven’t made much of an entrance on laptops.
Hopefully OLED laptops become more of a “thing” now that several laptops with the tech were announced at CES 2019. We can expect several of these OLED models to come in March this year.
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